Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Loving Autumn
Matt Seinberg

My favourite time of year has always been autumn, because of the nice, crisp weather, apple picking and the leaves turning all kinds of lovely colors. The one thing I didn’t enjoy, for many years, was cleaning up all those leaves.

When I first moved into my house almost 14 years ago, I bought all the manly power equipment I needed that included a Toro lawnmower, Echo trimmer, and a Toro blower qua vacuum qua shredder that did everything to the leaves. Then I injured my back and my lawn care days were over. What took me three plus hours to do the team of landscapers does in twenty minutes.

Recently, two neighbours took down huge, old trees in their backyards. One is right behind us and it was practically dead. I’m surprised it didn’t fall down last year during Hurricane Irene. The other is on the right side of the yard, and one day the trees were there, and the next they’re gone.

I’m hoping that I won’t have nearly as many leaves in my gutter, either. Have you ever had to climb up a ladder and scrape the bottom of the gutters to get all the old and decomposed leaves out them? It’s a dirty, nasty smelly job that I detest doing.

Back to the pleasant things about autumn: I like being able to sleep with the windows open, having a nice cool breeze come in and not having to use the air conditioning. Daphne the cat loves this weather. She’ll come up on the bed, and head bump my wife until she goes under the covers.

In the morning, after Marcy is gone, I’ll get the head bump and Daphne will want to get under the covers with me. Sometimes she’ll stay for a long time, others for just a few minutes. To paraphrase cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, happiness is a warm pussy.

We’ve gone apple and pumpkin picking at orchards in Eastern Long Island, and in upstate New York. There is nothing like biting into a fresh, hand-picked apple. I really like the bright red delicious, and gala. Sweet, juicy and what a wonderful feeling it is to savor that first bite.

A couple of years ago we took the kids apple picking, and I took the day off from work to do it. All they did the entire time in the orchard was whine and complain they were hungry. Are you kidding me? You’re surrounded by apples, so eat some!

No, they wanted real food, and the lunch that Marcy packed wasn’t good enough. So on the way back, stopped at a small ice cream store that was packed with people, so I guessed, correctly, that it had to be good. It was some of the best and freshest ice cream that we ever had.

We’ve also gone pumpkin picking, and it’s great to find just the right one to decorate and get ready for Halloween. But it’s a lot harder to take home a basket of pumpkins, since they are so much bigger. So we’ll generally limit ourselves to 5, one for everybody, including Daphne. After all, she is a black cat and perfect for Halloween.

The other nice part about autumn is taking out the clothes you haven’t worn since last year, including the comfortable flannel shirts and sweat shirts. When I’m in one of my flannel shirts, I look like Norm from This Old House. The problem is I don’t have either the tools or skills that he does. When I die, and am given a choice of whom or what I want to be in my next life, Norm would be my first choice. Let’s face it, women like guys who are good with their hands, and tools.

Have a great autumn, and go apple and pumpkin picking, drink apple cider, bake apple pies and get ready for Halloween.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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